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Tow Manager

Carrier vs Wrecker Deliberate on Your Options By Paul Stephens

Paul Stephens is a towing industry trainer with more than 34 years of towing experience. He has served as a consultant for many automobile manufacturers, equipment manufacturers, and companies for service provider education, towability and road service procedures.

Business decisions for a wheel lift or carrier purchase should be just that, buying for need and necessity.


hinking of jumping into the towing business or adding to your fleet? Decisions on carrier or wheel lift equipment can be a bit of a challenge with all the equipment availability. What is right for you, and what type of business will this equipment bring for new revenue? With so many choices, the difference in a carrier or wheel lift can be huge if you do not know your customers. My suggestion is to explore your potential core business opportunities prior to deciding on a piece. Will you be balancing a mixed base of business such as police calls, motor clubs, retail customers, commercial accounts, or private property towing? Knowing what your core business will require and what percentage of mix, such as tow, recovery, and transport will help send you towards the right purchase of a carrier or wheel lift.

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If your business is going to do police calls, depending on the area and terrain you are based, then it is more likely you will look to purchase a carrier if there is less than 5 percent recovery. If the recovery number is much higher, you will have to consider a wheel lift for the boom and extra winch capabilities. If you are going to be working with a motor club, then you might be considering a flatbed with all the various types of distance towing that might be available, and the many types of drivetrains in todays vehicles. The volume of work you anticipate handling with the wheel lift or carrier type equipment will dictate the first step in the purchase plan as a wheel lift and dollies might do the same job for you, with much greater access to limited areas, however

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American Towman Magazine - April 2021